TX: Willingham arson report comes before panel this week
Wed Apr 13, 2011 15:50
Willingham arson report comes before panel this week By Chuck Lindell | Wednesday, April 13, 2011
During a two-day meeting to begin Thursday afternoon, the Texas Forensic Science Commission will discuss a draft report on the arson science used to convict and execute Cameron Todd Willingham for a 1991 fatal fire at his Corsicana home.
The report, compiled after input was sought from all nine commissioners, is at the end of the committee agenda, so the discussion might not begin until Friday.
The report’s scope will be limited while the commission awaits answers about whether it has jurisdiction under state law to investigate the Willingham case. The attorney general’s office has until July 30 to provide an answer on that.
The report is expected to focus on advances in arson investigation techniques while avoiding questions about whether Willingham’s investigators were negligent in basing their arson finding on fire conditions now known to be found in accidental and natural fires as well as intentionally set blazes.
Unless another meeting is scheduled before the legislative session ends May 30, this will be the last meeting led by Chairman John Bradley, who is also the Williamson County district attorney. Because Bradley’s nomination does not have enough support in the state Senate, his time on the commission will end when the session closes.
The meeting, at 1711 San Jacinto Blvd. in Austin, begins Thursday at 1 p.m. and resumes Friday at 9:30 a.m.
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